Genres, the ever moving and shifting classifications of music, are high on the list of topics when discussing anything related to the audible passion; but, honestly, if you wanted call something smokegrassmetal, I’m sure you could justify it.
Dallas, Texas based The O’s have been lumped in the folk-pop category but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it must be just folk. And most importantly there is no denying, nor need to call their third release Thunderdog anything other than folk.
Be warned however, this isn’t your Phillip Phillips attempt at folk to make the little teenagers swoon over how eclectic they feel trying to find their way back home. No, this is full-bodied, honest and true folk at its finest. And I’m not referring to an infused blend of a modern mentality with banjo, I’m talking the real deal; echoing vocals, twanging riffs, footstompin’, barn burnin’ goodness with a dash of experimentation that resuscitates the slow beating heart of Americana. Sure it’s catchy and fun, but that doesn’t mean anything “Idol,” “Factor” or “Got Talent” can beat this.
The duo, Taylor Young and John Pedigo, may have very close ties to the likes of Polyphonic Spree and Boys Named Sue, but The O’s are a tall drink of fantastic and sonically refreshing.
Ironically, the twelve track journey into bleeding hearts and reminiscent adventures was recorded in a state-of-the-art studio. This is worth mentioning because the quality lies in the talent, not the production. “Outlaws,” “You Are The Light,” “Levee Breaks” and “Lighten the Load” are the answer to any doubt you’d have that this is something worth your time. There is plenty of acoustic guitar, slide, kick drum and banjo here to put Mumford and kin to shame; except they understand the concept of mixing things up (See: Banjo with fuzz pedal in “Kitty” – seriously badass!).
Via a wee bit of selfish drive (do what they want with little regard to who cares), a large dose of experience and enough catchy sound to draw America’s attention from Honey Boo Boo, The O’s have mastered a sound all their own. Thunderdog audibly creates a town right out of the Wild West without being gun-toting western and shatters the shop windows with homage to classic folk plugged into an amp of rock. But even still, this is folk at its best.